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Stupak, Denied Up-Or-Down Vote on Abortion Funding, Vows to Block Health-Care Bill

1:05 PM, Nov 4, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Via John McCormack, who's still on the road back from NY-23, comes this quote from pro-life Bart Stupak (D-Mich.):

"I am disappointed the manager's amendment introduced Tuesday night does nothing to change, let alone improve, the inadequate language on federal funding for abortion currently in the health care bill. I will continue to oppose, and will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose, bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until there is satisfactory language to prevent public funding for abortion."

The abortion issue was already bothering enough Democrats on Tuesday to give Pelosi a problem on the floor.

House leaders were still negotiating Monday with the bloc of Democrats concerned about abortion provisions in the legislation, saying that they could lead to public funding of the procedure. After an evening meeting of top House Democrats, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) said, "We are making progress," but added that they had not reached an agreement.

The outcome of those talks could be crucial in deciding the fate of the health-care bill. Democrats need the vast majority of their caucus to back the bill, since nearly all congressional Republicans have said they will oppose the legislation.

"I will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until a clean vote against public funding for abortion is allowed," Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Monday in a statement. He said last week that 40 Democrats could vote with him to oppose the legislation -- enough to derail the bill.

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